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  • Writer's pictureDarcy McVicar

Albrecht Durer and his life before age 30

Albrecht Dürer was a German artist, printmaker, and theorist of the German Renaissance. Born in 1471 in Nuremberg, Germany, he was the third child of a goldsmith. At the age of 13, Dürer was apprenticed to his father, but he showed a greater interest in drawing and painting. He soon left his apprenticeship to become a student of Michael Wolgemut, the leading artist in Nuremberg at the time. During his apprenticeship, Dürer learned the basics of woodcut and engraving, which would become some of his most famous mediums. He also began to study the works of other artists, including those of the Italian Renaissance. In 1490, at the age of 19, Dürer left Nuremberg to travel to Colmar, a city in Alsace, where he studied with the painter Martin Schongauer. In 1494, at the age of 23, Dürer returned to Nuremberg and established himself as a master artist. He quickly gained a reputation for his skill and originality, and began to receive commissions for portraits, altarpieces, and other works. He also began to produce prints, which were widely distributed and popular throughout Europe. One of his first major works was the "Apocalypse" series of woodcuts, published in 1498. These powerful and detailed images, based on the Book of Revelation, established Dürer as one of the leading printmakers of his time. He also produced a number of engravings, including "Adam and Eve" and "The Knight, Death, and the Devil," which are considered some of the greatest prints of the Renaissance. In 1500, at the age of 29, Dürer embarked on a journey to Italy, where he studied the works of the great Italian artists and made many drawings and prints. He also met many other artists, including Raphael, and was greatly influenced by the art of the Italian Renaissance. During his time in Italy, Dürer continued to produce a number of important works, including a series of engravings of the "Life of the Virgin" and a series of drawings of animals and plants. He also wrote a treatise on human proportion, which was published in 1528 and is still considered a valuable reference for artists today. Upon his return to Nuremberg in 1507, Dürer continued to be active as an artist and printmaker. He also began to receive commissions for large altarpieces and other religious works. He also wrote and published many treatises on art and mathematics, which were widely read and respected by other artists and scholars. Albrecht Dürer was one of the most important artists of the German Renaissance, and his work had a major influence on art in Europe for centuries to come. His skillful use of line, his attention to detail, and his ability to convey emotion through his art made him a master of his craft. His early works such as "Adam and Eve" and "The Knight, Death, and the Devil" are considered masterpieces of printmaking, and his journey to Italy helped to spread the influence of the Italian Renaissance throughout Northern Europe. Dürer's life before 30 was marked by apprenticeship, travel, and the development of his artistic skill, which led to his success as a master artist and printmaker.

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